This weekend was "round up and remove the extra free range roosters" weekend. It started out pretty good, Sat night I went out with my new, adjustable headlamp, good boots and heavy gloves. It was fun and I caught 10 of the oldest and ugliest in short order. Most never even saw me coming -- I think of it as "poultry special ops"!
I arranged to give them to 2 people and ask they come Sunday between 2 and 4, and to bring a box. Next time I'll be more explicit about the sort of box they need. The first lady came at noon, was surprised I was not there and called me. She also realized she had no box, so went to get one. The one she came back with had no top and (we discovered later) a weak bottom. She was getting 6 of them, and as I started handing them out of the cage to her son, the second one spooked the first one and he fought his way out to freedom -- now she's down to 6. We get the rest into the box and her son carries it to the car and as he's loading it, the bottom gives way and 3 more make a break for freedom. So she only ended up with 2 and I still have the 4 to re-catch sometime. We should have left the box in the car and then when they made a break for it it would have been at her house (or in her car). Oh well, we learn from our mistakes.
The second person was great. No escapes and he was a lot more fun to do this with. Next time I'll call him privately and see if he wants some more.
I was so happy to be getting rid of all those. I guess 6 gone is a start. We still have way too many running around, and the old ones are huge and often mean to the young ones, I think they may even kill some of the young males, it seems to me like most of the flock consists of old roosters and young hens. I suspect that predators get the hens before they get old, and the young males are killed by either predators (because the old roosters chase them away from the safe areas) or by the roosters themselves.